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4 August 2013 / leggypeggy

Get all things cowboy in Nebraska

Young's Western Wear, Valentine

Shirts in every colour and even racy boots (check the ones on the top left)

Our visit to Rio Branco in Brazil’s wild west got me thinking about our stop last year in Nebraska.

I grew up in Nebraska and have travelled all over the state, but Poor John had only ever been to Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney. So I decided it was time to head northwest on Highway 2, through Broken Bow and on to Valentine. This would give him a good look at the beautiful country called the Nebraska Sandhills and take him into the heart of the state’s cowboy country. I’d wanted to drive on as far as Alliance, but we ran out of time, so spent the night in Valentine.

Young's Western Wear, Valentine

Saddles galore

I had my first visit to Valentine in the 1960s. One of my university roommate’s was from a cattle ranch just south of town, and I remember horse-riding in the snow and that her family home was 17 miles down a dirt road from the main road. I tried to spot their gate as we approached town, but had no luck.

What I also didn’t remember was the Young’s Western Wear shop, located in downtown Valentine. It’s a third-generation, family-owned business, so it must have been there in the 60s.

The New York Times calls Young’s the ‘purveyor of all things cowboy’, and I have to say I was gobsmacked by the enormous range and volume of goods on offer.

Young's Western Wear, Valentine

Plenty of colour and Indian motifs in the bags

The store’s 20,000 square feet of display area was packed with thousands of cowboy boots (all on sale when we were there), hats, shirts (in every colour you can imagine), jeans, dresses, saddlery and other rodeo equipment, and even homewares, cookbooks, handbags, and jewellery.

I wish I’d needed something, but I didn’t. We were going to being travelling for five months and I didn’t want to carry whatever I bought. A couple of cookbooks turned my head, including  one called The magic of rhubarb, turn your friends and family into rhubarb lovers, but I restrained myself. This time!

That said, I’ve discovered that Young’s has an online store. Look out bank account.

P.S. Stay tuned for a look at the Sandhills and Broken Bow.


Leave a Comment
  1. / Jul 8 2014 10:17 pm

    Peggy, you’ve got to love a town called Valentine! 🙂 I didn’t know you grew up in Nebraska – what a beautiful state. I love your photos of Young’s. It looks like the perfect place to get kitted out – and those boots, well, what can I say. ~Terri


    • leggypeggy / Jul 10 2014 10:06 pm

      Hi Terri — Not sure everyone would call Nebraska beautiful, but it was a wonderful place to grow up. As for Young’s, the greatest temptation for me was the array of cowboy/country cookbooks including one devoted entirely to rhubarb.


  2. / Jul 19 2014 7:49 pm

    Hi Peggy,
    We just love this post and wanted to let you know that we featured a link to it today as part of our “Slice of Americana Series” that we’re running this July. You can check it out at the link below. Thanks for writing so beautifully!

    All the Best, Terri & James


  3. lulu / Jul 19 2014 9:05 pm

    Who knew you’d find all things cowboy in Nebraska? Wonder if Texas cowboys know this.


    • leggypeggy / Jul 21 2014 10:25 pm

      I don’t know, maybe Texas cowboys shop there too 🙂


  4. Thom Hickey / Jul 27 2014 3:56 am

    Thanks Peggy. Makes me want to head straight over! Until then I’ll just visit your blog. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (plugged in now).


    • leggypeggy / Aug 5 2014 2:32 am

      Thanks for stopping by Thom. If you’re desperate, they have an online shop, but the rhubarb cookbook isn’t there!


  5. jeanleesworld / Aug 21 2016 4:20 am

    “Not sure everyone would call Nebraska beauitul”–I think the same could be said for Wisconsin, too. When one loves their home, one KNOWS where the truly beautiful places are. I mean, if all someone knew of Wisconsin was the southern chunk dominated by strip malls and suburbs, then no–I wouldn’t really consider the place pretty. “Nice,” maybe. “Functional.” Not pretty.

    I suppose that partly comes from the shudders I always get in the urban setting: I’m not just not that keen for concrete and steel and bodies all piled on top of one another beneath orange street lights and half-broken neon. May all the revelers congregate among the cigarette butts and concocted beverages if they want; I’ll take an open sky and the song of cicadas any time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Aug 21 2016 8:32 am

      I’m with you Jean. I’ll take the open sky over concrete and steel any day. Not always keen on the song of the cicada, but given that it comes around only every few years, I can manage.

      And yes, plenty of people would say Nebraska and Wisconsin aren’t beautiful, but they haven’t looked very hard. Now don’t tell anyone I said this, but if I’m completely honest, I think Wisconsin is prettier overall than Nebraska.

      Liked by 1 person


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